Markets & Finance

Pediatrix Medical in FTC Probe


H&R Block (HRB) Goldman raised its $2.50 fiscal 2003 EPS estimate to $2.65 and maintains its market perform rating.

Lifeway Foods (LWAY) was halted pending news. Earlier, it was reported that the company's CEO, President Michael Smolyansky, died.

Netscout Systems (NTCT) cut Q1 guidance to a $0.01-$0.04 loss (pro forma) on $17M-$20M revenue, citing a tight IT spending environment. Janney Montgomery, Bear Stearns and Parker/Hunter downgraded.

Pediatrix Medical (PDX) received a request from the FTC to submit information on a voluntary basis in connection with an investigation relating to its May 2001 merger with Magella Healthcare Corp.

UBS Warburg upgraded MGM Mirage (MGG) to buy from hold.

Morgan Stanley upgraded Omnicom (OMC) to overweight from equal weight. On Friday the company said it was comfortable with its $1.00 Q2 consensus EPS estimate.

SilverStream Software (SSSW) agreed to be acquired by Novell via a cash tender offer valuing SilverStream at $9 per share.

JP Morgan upgraded Nokia (NOK) Ericsson (ERICY) to market perform from underperform.

According to press reports, ImClone (IMCL) officials learned the FDA might turn away the company's application for its cancer drug Erbitux three days before the agency on Dec. 28 formally told the company the news, people close to the situation said.

Williams (WMB) sees $1.35-$1.70 2002 recurring EPS vs. previous guidance of $2.15-$2.30, and will reduce its financial commitment to its energy risk management business as a realistic response to the uncertain industry environment.

First Albany reportedly upgraded Intel (INTC ) to strong buy from buy. On Friday Intel cut its Q2 guidance.

KPMG Consulting (KCIN) will acquire KPMG Consulting AG, the German, Swiss and Austrian consulting units of KPMG DTG, for $685M.

Instinet (INET) will acquire Island ECN in a $508M deal. Instinet will issue about 77M shares to Island's stockholders, and expects to pay $1.00/share cash dividend to its stockholders.

BAE Systems Plc is considering a takeover bid for TRW (TRW) to expand its defense business in North America. Northrop Grumman has already offered $6.7B for TRW, and is considering whether or not to raise that offer.

USB Piper says channel checks indicate Genesis Micro (GNSS) lost a key design to STMicro, and sees downside risk to $8.

Lehman reportedly made positive comments and reiterated its strong buy rating on Tyco (TYC). The company's legal problems are leading to closer scrutiny of its balance sheet, mounting concern that the company could face a financial crunch, according to press reports.

El Paso (EP) received an informal inquiry from SEC staff regarding the issue of so-called "round-trip" trades.

News Corp. (NWS) and Vivendi Universal (V) inked a pact whereby a group of investors headed by News Corp. will buy Vivendi's Italian pay-TV business for total of about 1B euros.

Ethan Allen (ETH) says it is comfortable with analysts' estimates at the top of the $0.56-$0.60 range, and believe analysts' $0.54 Q1 fiscal 2003 estimate is achievable.


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